Proposal on CBI’s autonomy not in conflict with legal provisions: Chidambaram

Proposal on CBI’s autonomy not in conflict with legal provisions: Chidambaram

The Cabinet approved the proposals of a GoM set up to provide autonomy to CBI.

A proposal to set up a panel of retired judges to oversee the investigations of CBI to insulate it from political interference is in conformity with existing legal provisions,Finance Minister P Chidambaram indicated today.

“What is being proposed does not conflict with any existing legal provision. We could explain it. But we will explain after the affidavit is filed on July 3…at this stage I cannot tell you what the affidavit contains,” he told reporters here while briefing about the decisions of the Union Cabinet yesterday.

He was asked whether the proposed panel was against the existing laws as the CBI has to report only to the court concerned and no one else.

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The Cabinet yesterday approved the recommendations of a Group of Ministers set up to provide autonomy to CBI. Based on the recommendations,government will file an affidavit before the Supreme Court by July 3. The issue will come up for hearing on July 10.

The move to constitute the GoM came after scathing observations of the apex court on the functioning of CBI while hearing the coal blocks allocation scam case.

Sources later explained that the panel of retired judges – which could be three in number – will be an “external oversight body” to look into the internal functions of the investigation agency.

The CBI will continue to report to courts about its investigations. The proposed panel of judges will not look into cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act and these will only be monitored by the CVC as is the case now.